So with the realisation that my inner monologue was something less than happy, I embarked on a program of self-conditioning. This occurred to me whilst riding the top deck of the road based public transport (I had been busy visualising my own funeral) and I decided at that point, enough was most certainly enough (It was sad, there were canapés). So rather than judging and berating myself further for my negative talk, I would force myself to relive five entirely awesome memories. Now these have changed over time, but if ever I find myself in a negative headspace, these are my current go to happy memories
1) My daughter being born, specifically after the birth, when I got my one on one, alone bonding time with her, and the first words I spoke to her ‘Gas and air, it’s really good’. She was so tiny, curled around with her head on my shoulder.
2) Kissing my daughters dad (a now long since ex) in a quirksome funky little bar where he was performing. Our friends were all there, and I had to clamber over a big leather settee to get to him before he went on stage, so I was standing maybe a foot above him (on edge of said settee) and he was standing on the floor (logistics are important) and we kissed (proper kiss) and all of our friends cheered. Much smiley moment.
3)Sitting with my Mum when I was around four years old. After lunch, which for the sake of this memory is always tomato soup and a cheddar cheese sandwich on white bread, we would always snuggle up on an armchair together. We would then watch two shows, Pebble Mill at One and The Sullivans. I felt safe and warm and entirely loved.
4) Walking on the beach, through the shallow waves, watching the sunshine cascade over the water, seeing treasures (sand rounded glass), feeling the cold of the water and the texture of the melting sand on my feet.
5) Playing guitar and singing with my friend Robert. There is such a genuine joy in singing with another human, it doesn’t matter if our notes are off or one of us misses a chord (especially if there is a bar involved), it creates the most divine bubble. A space to lose yourself in.
It isn’t enough to just say the words, or imagine the pictures to them, this has to be an involved procedure. Imagining the sounds, the way you felt, how hot or cold it was, all the details that make this a memory that will genuinely make you smile and uplift you. Now at this stage of my life, I was putting myself down a good deal, and the effort, upon realising that I was being negative about myself to think of five amazing things was immense. I occasionally wonder if I literally scared my brain into not talking down to me, because the effort of thinking of five good things all the time was exhausting.. Or I was simply reminding myself of all these amazing things in my life, that I no longer had any reason to be unkind to me. I was amazing too.
Map Point. What are my five most amazing memories?